Bendtner recalls his confrontation with Henry when he was just 16

Nicklas Bendtner will remain one of the most troublesome players that Arsenal has had on their books after his time at the Emirates.

The Dane was a colourful character who was more famous for his off-field troubles than scoring goals for Arsenal as a striker.

He was one of the hottest prospects in football when Arsenal signed him as a 16-year-old but he never really reached the heights that he showed as a youngster.

While he was still 16, he was so highly-rated that Arsene Wenger allowed him to train with the Arsenal first team.

In one training session, the players were involved in a game of two-touch, Thierry Henry, who was arguably the biggest player in England at the time, touched the ball three times and a young Bendtner called him out.

Henry shouted at him and the teenage striker shouted back, he has now recalled that story.

Writing in his book Bendtner says, as quoted by the BBC: “Henry tells me to shut up, this time with a lot of swear words included. And in hindsight it is good advice. But I am not taking it on. I shout back. He confronts me, yells into my face, says all kinds of things.

“But that is not the end of it. After training Henry comes after me.”

He continued: “Thierry was probably the biggest star in the league at that time and his record speaks for itself,” he says. “Looking back now I can see that I was out of order. My head was different back then. We had this little dispute where he puts me right in my place.

“After, he put his arm around me and said ‘listen I need to explain a few things about how this works’. That gave me a lot of respect for the guy. I thought that was really big. For three months I didn’t train with them [the first team] and that was my lesson. It showed me and I knew to shut it. It helped me a lot. I was 16 at this point.

“Looking back now I think you should just keep your head down and do what your elders tell you. I think that’s one of the things that still should remain in football but I was just very competitive and I was just in that zone. You didn’t obviously know how it all worked. It was all new so you had to learn. That was a big learning curve for me.”

Tags Nicklas Bendtner Thierry Henry


  1. I think Bendter was right to call Henry out. Rules are rules doesn’t matter how big you are they should still apply.

  2. Lord Bendtner will always be a legend to me for coming off the bench and scoring that fantastic header against spurs.
    It wasn’t completely his fault for not reaching full potential at Arsenal when Wenger started playing him on the wing when he was a proper centre forward.

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